Every pet owner dreads fireworks night! Or rather week, or sometimes even firework month. There are several ways to try to reduce your pet’s stress during this noisy period. It’s good to plan ahead, so you are prepared for the stressful event.
Calming sounds, such as brown noise, can be an effective way to block out external stimuli and create a soothing environment that promotes relaxation.

Start with the sound on very low in the background a few weeks before the event, gradually increase the sound slowly over time. This should de-sensitise your pet to the noise and distract them during times of stress/noise.

If your pet is very phobic of fireworks, seeking help from a certified animal behaviourist to target your pet’s anxiety can be useful, the staff at Hilltop Vets can advise on services in the area.

Preparation before and during the event:

• Ask neighbours to tell you of any planned firework demonstrations they are aware of, just for a heads up!
• Make sure your dog and cats’ microchip and tag details are up to date in case they escape.
• Consider using calming products such as pheromone release products or those prescribed by your vet.
• Feed before any expected disturbances, if your pet is the anxious type who goes off their food, its good for them to have a meal first.
• Walk your dog on the lead whilst still daylight so they can toilet before the anxiety starts
• Shut all doors/windows and draw the curtains. Lock or block up any cat flaps in the house
• Before opening the front door (e.g., during similar stressful events such as Halloween), shut your pets inside a room to prevent escape.
• Act/behave normally with usual indoor routines to create a normal atmosphere.
• For those pets who are food focused, bring out their favourite treats, and Kongs for some distraction and relaxation.

We recommend various natural calming products , that contain either calming herbal blends, or pheromones, which are released to relax many different species such as dogs, cats, rabbits and horses… and even humans! They are available as plug in diffusers, spritzer sprays, bandanas and wipes.

For other more holistic methods, why not try a ThunderShirt, a tight-fitting specialised jacket which acts as a form of comfort, reducing anxiety as it hugs the body. Our nurses are always happy to talk over these ideas with you.

There are a number of medications that you can purchase to help calm your pet during firework night. Some of the stronger medications are prescription only and may require a consultation with your vet to authorise their use, do not hesitate to call the practice to discuss this option.

If you have tried everything to reduce your pets stress and anxiety levels during firework season but it doesn’t seem to be working, give us a call at Hilltop vets and we will do all we can to advise and support you.

Telephone us 01865 73 60 60